Ex­plo­sive sub­stance may have started farm­house fire near Delia

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail sub­mit­ted

Po­lice be­lieve the cul­prits re­spon­si­ble for burn­ing an old farm­house near Delia may have used an ex­plo­sive to de­stroy the his­toric build­ing.

On Fe­bru­ary 13, at about 6 p.m., the Delia fire depart­ment re­sponded to a struc­ture fire near High­way 851, ap­prox­i­mately 6 kilo­me­tres south of the vil­lage.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion has de­ter­mined the fire was de­lib­er­ately set and sparked from an ex­plo­sion that oc­curred in close prox­im­ity to the build­ing.

Owner of the land where the build­ing is lo­cated, Shirley Fried­ley, says the house has long been aban­doned. While it was not the orig­i­nal home­stead, her hus­band Kevin’s mother had lived in the house in the 1950’s.

“It was pretty much empty,” said Shirley. “It was a land­mark, so it was sad to see it go.”

She said over the years they have fielded many re­quests from peo­ple want­ing to pho­to­graph the build­ing.

“That’s an­other piece of his- tory gone.”

One of the sub­stances that may have been used in the ex­plo­sion is tan­ner­ite. This is read­ily avail­able to the pub­lic and used by firearm en­thu­si­asts to make ex­plod­ing tar­gets, and is de­signed to det­o­nate when shot with a high-ve­loc­ity bul­let.

The ex­plo­sion may have sparked an ac­cel­er­ant, caus­ing the fire.

There were tracks on the prop­erty be­lieved to be made by a pick-up truck or SUV.

The RCMP and Fire of­fi­cials con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate. Drumheller RCMP are seek­ing as­sis­tance from the pub­lic to iden- tify ve­hi­cles or peo­ple seen in that area, in ad­di­tion to any per­son known to be in pos­ses­sion of, or us­ing tan­ner­ite in the area.

Should you have any in­for­ma­tion on this or any other crime, please con­tact Drumheller RCMP at 403-823-2630 or Crimestop­pers at 1-800222-8477.

Po­lice in­di­cate that a sub­stance known as tan­ner­ite may have con­trib­uted to a fire which de­stroyed a his­toric farm house on High­way 851 near Delia last Mon­day.

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